Ben Polis controversy continues as Fair Work Ombudsman confirms Energy Watch probe

Disgraced entrepreneur Ben Polis faces further scrutiny after the corporate watchdog and workplace regulator have both reportedly said they will be investigating the former Energy Watch chief executive.

The revelations come just days after energy companies broke ties with the broker of Polis’ racist remarks on Facebook, while several sports clubs have also severed their contracts.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has confirmed it is currently conducting an inquiry in relation to Energy Watch, after allegations were made the company failed to pay out $500,000 in staff entitlements.

“I can confirm the Fair Work Ombudsman is currently conducting inquiries in relation to Energy Watch. As this matter is operational it is not appropriate to comment further at this time,” a spokesperson told SmartCompany this morning.

The confirmation comes after the Victorian Secretary of the Australian Services Union, Ingrid Stitt, said she had written to the FWO requesting an investigation.

Fairfax has reported Polis is facing an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over the collapse of previous businesses. It is understood regulators are concerned assets of a previously failed company were transferred over to Energy Watch.

The report claims that in a liquidator’s report, liquidator Brad Tonks said that some assets had been transferred but Polis “has not indicated that a sale has occurred”.

ASIC was contacted by SmartCompany this morning but no reply was available prior to publication.

The probes come after the Victorian Employers’’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry confirmed to SmartCompany yesterday it had severed ties with Energy Watch in February. A letter leaked from the organisation showed it was concerned over a number of allegations, including workplace drug use, and underpayment of wages.

VECCI chief Mark Stone told SmartCompany yesterday it terminated its relationship with Energy Watch in February.


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